Howard Van Till

Anyone getting deeply involved in debates over creationism and intelligent design eventually runs across the name of Howard Van Till, a physicist with a Calvinist Christian background who taught at Calvin College. Having him on board as a defender of science has been invaluable, especially as an example of someone who seemed theologically conservative but also had few qualms about accepting most of modern natural science. Mind you, I found some of his writing intellectually irritating, given the contortions he had to resort to to keep his faith compatible with science, but he didn’t do anything unusual among scientists who are religious.

It now appears that Van Till has moved away from his Calvinism, and taken a much more ambiguous position on religion. (Thanks to Richard Carrier for pointing this out.) On the one hand, I like this development—it means less doubletalk on science and theology and one more fellow physicist who takes a more sensible position like the majority of his colleagues. On the other hand, one less prominent person we can point to as being a solid Christian and an evolutionist might leave us in a politically slightly weakened position.